Reverse-Gentrification of the Literary World

Akashic Books

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Category: Are We Related?

Each month, Akashic invites contributions to our featured blog from our roster of fabulous authors. This February, in celebration of Black History Month and in conjunction with the long-awaited paperback reissue of Bernice L. McFadden’s Nowhere Is a Place, our featured blog is given the “Are We Related?” theme.

In Nowhere Is a Place, McFadden’s narrator, Sherry, is compelled by a haunting incident in her youth to go on a cross-country journey in search of the lost limbs in her family tree. Her sojourn reveals a history of amazing survival and abundant joy. McFadden concludes her work with an afterword called “Are We Related?” in which she details her own genealogical history, and invites readers to contact her with news from her extended family tree.

Nowhere Is a Place offers a unique literary take on the notion of locating one’s identity in relation to its position in a broader context of family, heritage, and history. While this is not a strictly black theme, it’s a compelling lens through which to observe Black History Month.

We’ve grateful to Bernice for allowing us to borrow her generous concept, and the first “Are We Related?” blog installment presents her afterword in its entirety. Courttia Newland, Kwame Dawes, and others will host the blog in the weeks to come.

In the meantime, Bernice will be monitoring your comments during the course of her feature, and hopes to hear from you!

Elizabeth Nunez Asks, Are We Related?

This February, in celebration of Black History Month and in conjunction with the long-awaited paperback reissue of Nowhere Is a Place, Bernice L. McFadden inaugurated our feature with the wonderful conclusion to her book. Since then, Courttia Newland and Kwame Dawes have contributed stories of their own family history. This week, Elizabeth Nunez similarly asks, Are We Related?

Kwame Dawes Asks, Are We Related?

Each month, Akashic invites contributions to our featured blog from our roster of fabulous authors. This February, in celebration of Black History Month and in conjunction with the long-awaited paperback reissue of Nowhere Is a Place, Bernice L. McFadden inaugurated our feature with the wonderful conclusion to her book. This week, Kwame Dawes similarly asks, Are We Related?

Courttia Newland Asks, Are We Related?

Each month, Akashic invites contributions to our featured blog from our roster of fabulous authors. This February, in celebration of Black History Month and in conjunction with the long-awaited paperback reissue of Nowhere Is a Place, Bernice L. McFadden inaugurated our feature with the wonderful conclusion to her book. This week, Courttia Newland similarly asks, Are We Related?

Bernice L. McFadden Asks, Are We Related?

Nowhere Is a Place was first published in 2006. The story was inspired by my own genealogical research, which I started back in 1995. I’ve had a lot of help along the way and so would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to Antoinette McFadden, Valerie Beaudrault, and the members of AfriGeneas.com—without their kind assistance, I would be years behind in my research.


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